9/11: 20 Years Later

By: Hunter Kennedy

“Today, our fellow citizens, our way of life, our very freedom came under attack in a series of deliberate and deadly terrorist attacks.” These words from former President George W. Bush would forever resonate with that beautiful Tuesday that was blackened by planes crashing into the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers, the Pentagon, and a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. That morning showed promise of a beautiful day, only for the world to wake up to unimaginable horror. The Twin Towers, once stood as a symbol of great American ingenuity and prosperity, were now rubble. The Pentagon, the center of America’s defense, was breached. Then came the first battle to stop terror when the passengers of United Airlines Flight 93 fought the hijackers and ultimately crashed in the field at Shanksville. All resulted in the loss of over 3,000 people, including citizens of 87 different nations.

The story of what happened after that day is well known. The United States would invade Afghanistan to avenge the loss of over 3,000 people and, Osama Bin Laden, the former leader of Al-Queada, would die in a raid by U.S. Navy Seals. The new One World Trade Center and a memorial now sit on the site where those two beautiful towers once stood. So what else is there to do, now that the site has been reconstructed and memorialized, and the leader of the terrorist group that launched the attack is gone? Our job, our mission, is to continue to remember those who lost their lives on that fateful day and the 20 years following it. To remember the lives they lived, the sacrifices they made that day, and to remember those that were left behind. Yes, remember the tragedy, remember what had happened not because it was a tragedy, but so we can learn from it and possibly prevent another from occurring just like it.

As stated by former President Bush, “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” United, we stand against evil, and the memories of those lost will never be forgotten.

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